Public invited to watch live broadcast at URI of research on USS Monitor shipwreck, July 19

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NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – July 7, 2006 – The University of Rhode Island invites the public to watch a free live broadcast of historians, archaeologists and engineers studying the Civil War shipwreck USS Monitor 17 miles off the North Carolina coast on July 19 at 2 p.m.

The interactive broadcast of the scientists discussing the expedition, including URI marine scientist Dwight Coleman, can be viewed at the Coastal Institute auditorium on URI’s Bay Campus in Narragansett.

“This is a great opportunity for Rhode Islanders to watch oceanographic research as it is happening live,” said Maryann Scholl of URI’s Office of Marine Programs, which is hosting the broadcasts.

Scientists aboard the URI research vessel Endeavor will collect high-resolution digital imagery using side-scan sonar and remotely operated vehicles to create a photomosaic of the ship’s hull and surrounding wreckage in the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. The completed photomosaic will be displayed next March at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Va.

During the broadcasts, the scientists will provide commentary about the history and crew of the Monitor, the technology being used to collect images of the site, and the ongoing efforts to conserve artifacts recovered from the wreckage. URI is one of 15 participating Immersion Presents sites in the U.S. that is receiving the live broadcast. Immersion Presents will also carry additional expedition footage and broadcasts on its website.

The expedition is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Institute for Exploration, with support from the Rhode Island Endeavor Program. For more details about the expedition, visit the National Marine Sancturaies website

Following the expedition, the ship will make a port stop at the National Maritime Center in Norfolk, Va., on July 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the public is welcome to tour the Endeavor, meet the scientists and crew, and view some of the preliminary data collected.